Welcome rains on the central, southern Plains; more rain for parts of the Corn Belt


Welcome rains on the central, southern Plains; more rain for parts of the Corn Belt

Across the Corn Belt, thunderstorms in the vicinity of a cold front are heaviest in the middle Mississippi Valley.  Meanwhile, cool but dry weather in the upper Midwest favors late-season planting efforts, except in areas where fields remain too wet to support farm machinery.  On May 29, U.S. corn planting was 86% complete, tied with 2011 for the second-slowest pace of the 21st century.  In 2019, only 62% of the intended corn acreage had been planted by May 29.

On the Plains, showers and thunderstorms continue to provide variable drought relief from Nebraska to Texas.  The rain is generally benefiting rangeland, pastures, and summer crops but arrived too late for many winter grains.  On May 29, more than one-quarter of the winter wheat was rated in very poor to poor condition in each of the Plains’ major wheat production states, led by Texas (80% very poor to poor), Oklahoma (51%), and Colorado (47%).  Meanwhile on the northern Plains, cool weather is slowing rates of drying and limiting crop development.  Scattered frost was reported Wednesday morning in some areas, including southwestern North Dakota.

In the South, hot, humid weather favors fieldwork and crop development.  Wednesday’s high temperatures should reach 90°F or higher, except in some coastal and high-elevation locations.  Tropical moisture is lurking south and east of Florida.

In the West, warmer-than-normal weather is returning along and near the Pacific Coast.  Farther inland, cooler-than-normal conditions cover the remainder of the western U.S.  Even with relatively cool weather in place, several wildfires continue to burn in New Mexico and neighboring states.  In southwestern New Mexico, the Black Fire has consumed more than 250,000 acres of vegetation.  Elsewhere, some high-elevation snow lingers early Wednesday in the central Rockies.